Red light windows and bars must close earlier, court rules

Photo: Brandon Hartley
Signs in the red light district. Photo: Brandon Hartley

Amsterdam city council is within its rights to order cafes and brothels in the city’s red light district to close their doors earlier, a court in the capital ruled on Tuesday.

Since the beginning of April, window brothels have to close at 3am rather than 6am, and cafes are not allowed to admit any new guests after 1am. The new rules are part of a string of measures to try to reduce the problems caused by late night tourism in the busy red light district.

Local business owners and sex workers had gone to court arguing against the early closures which they said would hurt their businesses.

The judge, however, ruled that public safety and livability were more important than the interests of local businesses. Two reports, the judge said, showed that the area is ‘deteriorating and it is now longer a pleasent and safe place to live.’

The city also recently introduced a much derided campaign to get tourists likely to cause problems to stay away, and is planning to move some of the sex workers to a new location.

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